Friday, October 30, 2009

this is a bit outdated...ill update soon. xo

“Everyone here came for one night, went out to the bars and woke up seven years later,” a man in the park yesterday told me. He is from Italy. The caves, the Albyzin, the guitar music and the beautiful environment and stable, sunny climate bring people here from all over the world. Why am I here? I’ve been here for close to three weeks already. Generally, I follow a routine as follows: wake up when the sun is high enough to light up the cave, carry my sleeping pad outside to a flat spot on the hill which has just enough tree cover to nearly disguise the city below and do 30-45 minutes of yoga, stretching and pushups. Once I’ve warmed my body up, I pack my bag for the day, grab my hula hoop and walk down the trail to San Miguel. At the fountain in San Miguel I brush my teeth, fill up water, sometimes take a bit of a bird bath shower and then continue down the recently installed staircase to the Albyzin. Without stopping, this walk takes 30 minutes. The next task is to find a café to order café con leche (which I douse in sugar) and pan con tomate. At this point, sometimes it is late enough for me to order a cerveza and receive my free tapa, but I’ve never done this. I sit in the café, usually with Rachel. We usually try and track down all of their outlets to charge our electronics, ensuring that she has music to make jewelry to and I’ve got computer battery. At the café, I write and she draws and we talk about our lives back home. In the afternoon, it is off to the park or the Mirador, a tourist viewpoint where Rachel sells her jewelry and I hula hoop. We eat a light lunch of bread and banana. The sunsets are best spent in the park drinking liters of beer or at the cave making dinner with the last bits of daylight. By this time, we are usually both starving and we begin to prepare dinner using the beer can stove that I fashioned for us a while back. Dinners are simple: lentils and tomatoes, pasta and garbanzos, the occasional splurge of a can of tuna. Evenings are up in the air, sometimes we stay in the cave, sometimes we go back into town. It’s a one hour minimum walk back to the cave from the center of town and we always take this into consideration.
When I first got here, I felt restless with this routine. I didn’t feel like I was spending my time abroad wisely. I wasn’t exploring the country, having crazy experiences, seeing new things etc. I talked about this to Rachel and another friend. We discussed the upcoming months of my life: Copenhagen and Palestine. These will undoubtedly be very intense months where I will need to be in the best mental state possible.
I generally feel that I don’t have many emotions. That I am a very stable person. That I have the ability to block hindering feelings during times of stress or difficulty. This is generally an asset. It allows me to move more easily from one task to the next or juggle multiple at once thus, increasing my productivity. However, I am beginning to realize that this trait is good for in-the-moment occasions, but it often leaves me without the ability to fully process, understand and learn from the experiences after they have occurred.
And that is where the value of my life in Granada comes in. I am allowing myself, with the help of great new friends, to experience, feel and process my actions and emotions. In the upcoming months, I think that I will be very grateful for the time I spent in Granada.
I’ve also struggled with the privilege that I feel I have, especially during my travels. I fully understand that the opportunity to travel is very rare and I am very lucky to have it. Sometimes this leaves my feeling guilty…perhaps I should be doing more. I’ll never know the answer to this. I’m learning about myself, about the world, but is it at the expense of someone/something else? The Elliott State Forest is still being cut down, there is winter gardening to be done, an LNG pipeline that needs to be stopped.
While I was walking down the stairs today, I thought about these things. I tried to put them into perspective. By the time I reached the bottom (there are about 250 stairs), I came to the conclusion that I cannot. I don’t know all of the factors in the world, and even if I did, what about the unknowns? The forces of the full moons? When stars align? When people act out of pure love and spontaneity? It’s too much. I decided to fall back my time-tested mantra of trusting others to do what is right for them and the people they love and trust that each person is working in their own way to create the world that they want to live in and the happiness as a result of these actions will be enough to keep us going.
And that is where I’m at. I am coming to understand how I interact with the world now, and how I want to interact with it in the future. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to be here, to have the time to do this. I hope that I will do a better job of letting emotions in, taking time to experience them and in the end, learn from them. And that is why I am still in Granada.

1 comment:

  1. Letting emotions in is muy dificil en mi experiencia...y en el momento en que dejes que entren ellas, hay una onda impresionante que casi te hace caer...

    Cuidate chica! Besos de Eugene--

    Gorgeous weather here today!

    If there's an address you're at there I'll send you a letter :)